I recently had a brush with a Super Parent.
Between coordinating math competitions and drawing up homework schedules and suggesting vinyl cutouts of inspirational quotes to stick around the school, the Super Parent (SP) texted me to ask how my overachiever plans were coming along…?
I assured SP that all’s well, then accidentally sent my son to school in his younger brother’s pants.
While I could blame my lack of motivation and involvement on the number of children I’m keeping alive (five), I know I’ve had about the same level of parenting for all of them. They just get things like the wrong pants when I’m recovering from popping out their sibling.
Thing is, I have a different reaction than action compared to SPs.
Problem: Son needs a real volcano for his Science Fair Project? He needs it now? It’s due tomorrow? But it’s bedtime…
Solution: Meh; this will build character. Go to sleep and cobble something together in the morning.
I’ll teach the values of project management, ingenuity, and last-minute b.s.-ing. Frankly, that last one will help him more times than he’ll know.
I’ll admit to some guilt when my laissez-faire approach comes out. What if not having five hours of piano lessons since he was five means he never goes to college? What if he catches pneumonia because I couldn’t leave my hour-away appointment to pick him up because he felt “sniffly?” What if that real volcano impressed little Julie Jenkins, super-intelligent and talented daughter of the SP that texted me, and she therefore agrees to go out with and marry my son when they’re twenty, and my adorable grandchildren (whose upbringing and education will be handled by their SP grandparent) never come to be??
That’s when I reassure myself that, if Julie Jenkins doesn’t love my son for who he is, she shouldn’t marry him. I mean, volcanoes can only take a relationship so far…
That, and I’d rather be a consistent and level-headed parent than a volatile and high-strung one. I’ve seen those go-getter types in school, and they were only happy when they had the good stuff. I don’t want that for my kids if we can avoid it; I want them to be balanced and truly happy.
So, SP, things are going well. My kids are alive, my son’s wearing pants, and my other son just pulled some paper into a mountain and painted it brown.
He says the vinegar and baking soda will be red.
©2020 Chelsea Owens
Photo Credit: Valeria Zoncoll
Xavier Mouton Photographie